Welcome to Latino Food Blogs We Love. Every week we’ll highlight a Hispanic food blogger we admire and ask them how they do what they do and what inspires them.
This week’s pick: The Other Side of the Tortilla, where Maura Hernandez shares her love of fresh, flavorful Mexican cooking while documenting her travels and favorite Mexican traditions. Her beautiful photos and recipes have quickly gained traction in the Latino community, and in 2011 Maura was awarded the “Best Latin Food Blog” by Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), the largest organization of Hispanic social media professionals online. Below, Maura in her own words:
Who’s blogging: Maura Hernández
Explain your blog name: The name of the blog is based on the idea that you may have eaten something a thousand times, but if you just look at it in a different way (namely ingredient by ingredient), you’ll notice something new about it that you didn’t see before. There’s something to be said for tried-and-true traditional cooking, and the blog is my journey to reconstruct our family recipes as well as those learned from friends and Spanish-language cookbooks to fill in the gaps for a full understanding of Mexican cuisine. When I began, I only wrote about recipes and the stories of why I loved them so much. But I found myself often incorporating explanations of Mexican culture and travel destinations to give my stories more context, and so I added those interests as official categories to expand what I could offer on my site.
Blogging since: 2009
Where you’re blogging from: Chicago
In 2011 blogger Maura Hernández was awarded “Best Latin Food Blog” by LATISM.
What you’ve learned while blogging: I’ve met so many incredible people because of blogging—and I don’t just mean other bloggers. Everybody has a story to tell.
Where do you get ideas for posts from: Traveling to Mexico to visit family and friends, looking through old Spanish-language cookbooks that were gifts from my tías, looking through family photos from my husband’s childhood in Mexico City, talking to friends, visiting my local Mexican neighborhood’s grocery stores, panaderías and restaurants. My readers are pretty vocal about recipes and other things they want to see on the blog and we have an active Facebook fan base. I draw inspiration from a number of places. Inspiration is everywhere so I always carry a small notebook with me to jot ideas down.
What lessons have you learned from blogging: Before I began blogging, I cooked frequently but had no idea how time consuming recipe development could be, even when you have a base recipe to work from. I test every recipe at least twice, and from doing the shopping for ingredients to making the recipe to learning how to plate and photograph, it’s a labor-intensive process. I have so much more appreciation for recipes that appear in newspapers and magazines because I know the testing process and production aspect of getting everything together and photographed is not a quick one.
Where else can we find you online?
I also write on the Kenmore Genius Blog as their culinary genius. I occasionally contribute to other blogs and print magazines, and I always mention it on my site when that happens so my readers can check it out. The Other Side of The Tortilla is on Facebook, where you can find some exclusive photos of what’s cooking in my kitchen and lots of conversation about Mexico and Mexican cuisine. I’m also on Twitter @MauraHernandez.
What other blogs do you read?: I’m a longtime reader of Homesick Texan and Smitten Kitchen (who isn’t?), but in 2011 I got hooked on Peru Delights (I love learning about other cuisines, and I have several friends from Peru so I wanted to learn more about their cuisine and culture) and Everyday Maven (focused on healthy, organic and relatively quick recipes). And of course, I’ve gotten sucked into Pinterest, where I’ve discovered lots of other great blogs to get hooked on.